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Old 19-08-2004, 04:55 PM   #1
diamondx
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Default Material or Shader?

I am having problems understanding Hypershade. I have been viewing my training DVD again and there is something I donít understand.

For example, when you create a blinn material, is this a material or a shader?

The speaker in the DVD sometimes calls it a material and sometimes he calls it a shader. I know itís a fine point, but that is part of my problem with Hypershade, is learning the names of the different shading network parts.

Sometimes he talks about a Shader library. I know where itís at, but I am not sure if it is the same as a blinn material, or is it shader?

Thanks
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Old 19-08-2004, 07:28 PM   #2
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A basic blinn, lambert, phong, ect.. is a material. A shader nextwork is the network that makes up the color, bump, ect. The final result of that shader network is called a shader.

Not sure if this is right. Im 99% sure though.
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Old 19-08-2004, 07:51 PM   #3
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Basically a material and a shader are the same thing.
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Old 20-08-2004, 12:55 AM   #4
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ummm well, I'm going to have to go with Peltra on this one...

Materials are blinn, lambert, phong, etc, while a shader is the material, color, bump map should there be one, extra nodes you create in hypershade to make up the network if you do that, etc, all put together.

What's a material in real life? Silk, cotton, concrete, plastic, etc. They all have a different feel to them and light reflects diffrently off them. Maya can simulate different materials of real life with the different materials like blinn, lambert, etc that it has.

Now silk, cotton, concrete, etc will always have the same characteristics, but their color can differ. Even though concrete is concrete, you can have relatively smooth concrete or rough concrete. A bump map would be able to simulate this. Bump maps are considered to be part of a shader, not a material.

hope this better explains it all somewhat...
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Old 20-08-2004, 01:17 AM   #5
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I guess this is a semantic exercise because I'd say the color maps, bump, spec maps etc. are texture nodes and not materials. Silk is indeed a material, and it has it's own specular, reflectivity, and bump characteristics. Those characteristics make up the material that is silk, thus the shader network is what creates the material. That's why I'd say that shder networks are materials.
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Old 20-08-2004, 05:45 AM   #6
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Ahh, good logic indeed, Dann. I suppose maybe I should add that even though materials in the real world do have different feels to them, Maya only simulates the lighting effect of different real world materials. (guess I shouldn't have really mentioned the "feel" materials have in my description...)

From the Help files in Maya: A material is a collection of attributes that control how a surface appears, including its color and shininess.

So that goes along with my deffinition of a material I guess. Also, you have the fact that the shader library consists only of "shading networks comprised of different node types such as materials, textures, and utilities" as the Maya Help files state.

But meh... I don't want to endlessly debate this topic... in real-world usage, both "shader" and "material" are nearly used interchangebly. People pretty much know what you're talking about if you say either or, so I suppose it's nothing to worry about that much. lol.

Really though, you are correct in your description. The problem here is that Alias really shouldn't have used the term "material" to classify the catagory that consists of blinn, phong, lambert, etc. (in my opinion at least...)
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Last edited by Darkware : 20-08-2004 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 20-08-2004, 06:04 AM   #7
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I'm speachless.

I'll try again in the morning.

...
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